Sunday, September 20, 2009

Nancy Garrido

It would be really nice when you are going to do a live TV interview if they would give you the questions in advance so you could have a minute to think about it. But they don't. So the other day Larry King asked me what I think of Nancy Garrido. Well, I hadn't really give it much thought, so I just reacted off the top and said that I thought it was almost worse what she did, that Garrido was obviously sick, but she was doing his bidding without being sick herself, and that was worse.

But you know, I was wrong. Well, I think I was wrong, because obviously I cannot see inside the mind of a woman I've never met. But when I really take time to think about it, I believe Nancy Garrido was every bit as much a victim of Philip Garrido as everyone else. I'll admit, I think she was crazy to marry him in the first place. Or before that, she was crazy to even give him the time of day, to allow him the opportunity to start crawling inside her mind to plant the seeds of control.

All you girls out there, remember that. You will probably have an intuition if the guy you are talking to has that kind of evil in his heart. But he may be charming, and sweep you off your feet. It is well known that a lot of women suffer from some mental aberration that causes them to be attracted to "bad boys." Or perhaps he might start tugging at your heart with his sad stories. You know, nobody has ever really loved him, his heart has been so badly broken, yada yada yada, and you start to feel that you have that magic gift, you have that love that he has never experienced, and with that love you can heal all those hurts ... and voila! He will be whole again, and the two of you will have a glorious future. You know, sometimes for some people, this can be true. But we're talking about the "bad boys" here, the ones whose known history tells you they are trouble, the ones whose initial presence whispered a warning to your spirit, no matter how badly you wish to deny it. These people tend to be very controllling. Like Phillip Garrido. Do not give them a chance to get into your head and your heart, because they will twist them just as their own are twisted.

From what I've heard, Garrido was a pretty frightening guy. If he could manage to worm his way into Nancy's heart enough for her to marry him while he was still incarcerated, just imagine what happened once he was out. He probably terrified the living daylights out of her. And then he made her an accomplice to his crimes. Maybe she didn't want to be a part of it. Maybe she wanted to help Garrido's victims, but was afraid to because, as Phil undoubtedly reminded her, she was an accomplice. We are pretty certain that she participated in Jaycee's abduction. I feel fairly safe in asserting that she probably didn't do so because it gave her any thrills. She probably did it because she was afraid of what Garrido would do to her if she didn't. And then he had an additional hold of her. She was not only afraid of Garrido and his violence, she was afraid to try to get help because he had made sure she was also afraid of the authorities.

What sentence would I give Nancy Garrido? I would guess that over the last 21 years she has already served the worst sentence a human being could serve. I mean, I could be wrong about everything, but if I'm right, I'd have mercy on this woman -- predicated on her willingness to fully cooperate with authorities and spill all regarding all of Philip Garrido's activities to which she may have been privy. For me, if she could give out information that would help solve some of our other missing children's cases, Michaela's or anybody else's, and testify against Garrido, I'd be tempted to sentence her to treatment for her own psychological injuries rather than imprisonment.

But the question is, would she be able to do that? Would she be able to trust in the system to actually keep her safe from Garrido? And beyond that, did Garrido have associates in his nasty business? Some of the reports from the neighbors over the years indicate that he may have. Nancy could still be more frightened to be free than to be in jail.

I speak from a victim's heart. I can only pray that if Nancy knows anything, she can find the courage to tell. In the meanwhile, I will have to suspend my own judgment of her. I think we need to pray for her as much as we need to pray for any of Garrido's victims.


  1. Your post was such an encouragement to me, - I had been stalked and manipulated by a person who was purely evil. The power I allowed this man over my actions makes me cringe with shame whenever I am reminded of it. My situation was a life lesson, and ultimately nothing was really hurt except for my pride and my pocket book. That nothing more occurred, I thank God for, but I am very aware that throughout my life others have covered me with prayer and it has made all the difference. May God Bless your message, ministry and spirit with the depth and height, power of His love. I will be prayiing for you - and Michaela. Kyle Edgell

  2. Hello, I found your blog on accident, and had to a mother, and as the mother of a little blonde girl. My daughter is seven. I read your words on never letting Michaela cry herself to sleep, and I felt my heart absolutely break in half. I am this same kind of mother, and what you endure every day is some kind of suffering I cannot imagine. So I have to reach out to you and tell you that as a mother, I love you, and as a mother, I love your daughter, and I will say a heartfelt prayer that you receive answers, and soon.

    Maggie May

  3. amen. you have a wise heart. shalom to you.

  4. I've received several pretty rancorous comments here disagreeing with me (all anonymous, all right in a row, possibly from the same person). I don't really want to publish these because some of them got pretty angry, and some contained some unsubstantiated accusations. If they had not been anonymous, I'd have responded personally, but they were, so I'll respond here.

    I don't know what's in Nancy Garrido's heart, and neither do you. But I have heard some things that you probably haven't, and Garrido was a terrorizer. If you have never been terrorized, perhaps you wouldn't understand that Nancy would have known that even when he was in prison, he would be released one day in the fairly near future, and that he would have made it clear what he would do to her if she didn't obey him while he was gone. Garrido's former victim, who put him in jail the first time, still lived in terror of him.

    Even sweet Shawn Hornbeck participated in kidnapping another child while he was in the clutches of his kidnapper, because his kidnapper forced him to. There are things we can never understand unless we have lived them ourselves, and thankfully we haven't. If Nancy plotted these things with Phil and said, "Oh goody, this sounds like fun," she's as guilty as he is. If she did them because she was terrorized by this very frightening man, she was definitely a victim herself. I don't know the woman. I'm not even saying I know I'm 100 percent right. Maybe they got married with the idea of kidnapping people and committing heinous crimes. I don't know. But I do know that Nancy would have lived in terror of this man, and as such she IS a victim. And I'm just hoping, I'm praying, she can shed her fear of him sufficiently to be able to tell investigators EVERYTHING she knows.

  5. Fair enough, Sharon. I won't post anonymously this time.

    Let's say that Nancy was a victim in all this, that Phillip "terrorized" her into going along with his evil, perverted fantasies. This still does not absolve her of responsibility, and it comes perilously close to sounding like the Nuremberg defense.

    I have to ask. If it turns out that the Garridos were responsible for your daughter's disappearance and it is revealed that Nancy played an indispensible part in whatever happened to your daughter, are you still going to feel as charitable to her as you are now?

  6. Thanks, Cleo. As I said (and deleted), if someone holds a gun to your head and tells you to steal something or they will shoot you, do you feel you are responsible for the stealing? The thing is, we really are not capable of understanding the terror this man could wield. We have not experienced it. But I did hear some things yesterday which caused me to change my mind about her.

    You know, I actually got a message on myspace today that stated that JAYCEE was "not innocent in all this." That was just too crazy for me to even answer. So here's a question -- if Nancy had been a kidnapping victim rather than someone who married him when he was safely behind bars, would she be so responsible? I really do feel that Nancy was probably subjected to the same kind of terrorizing that Jaycee was.

    Understand, I'm not giving her a free pass. I'd like to think I'm spiritually stronger than what I'm giving Nancy credit for. I'd like to think that whatever my own fear, I would manage to overcome it for the greater good of sparing another human being such suffering. It is a fact that missing children have been found when their abductors have kidnapped another child, and the first child gathers up the courage to get free in order to save the younger one.

    But however much responsibility she should bear, I do believe she was Garrido's victim rather than his accomplice.

    And as for how I'd feel if I found out she'd played an indespensible part in what happened to my daughter, I supposed you'd have to ask me then. I don't know how I'd feel, and there are so many possibile circumstances, I couldn't say for certain. But I can say that if she was the one who finally told us where Michaela is, that would go a long way towards stirring my feelings of charity towards her.

  7. I believe that Nancy Garrido was mentally or emotionally sick BEFORE she got involved with Phillip Garrido in prison.

    Healthy, well-adjusted women would NOT pursue a relationship with an inmate, especially one who committed a heinous and violent sex crime. Healthy, well-adjusted women would have AVOIDED a man like Phillip Garrido from the start.

    Healthy, well-adjusted people are generally not attracted to people who are mentally or emotionally sick.

    Nancy was sick in the head. Phillip was sick in the head. They were attracted to each other because they were both sick in the head.

  8. Well, we'll just have to agree to disagree on this point.

    For whatever it's worth, cases like Michaela's and Jaycee's are one of the reasons I never wanted children. I simply couldn't bear to go through what you've been through the past 21 years.

    Does that make me a coward? Someone who's afraid to live life to its fullest because of some "what if?" Maybe. But I'd rather be a coward.

  9. Well, you actually have a better chance of winning big in the lottery than of having your child become the victim of a stranger abduction. But whenever you choose to love, you choose to grieve one near or far day. Everyone either dies or leaves -- lovers, friends, parents, pets. But you know what Garth Brooks says: "I could have missed the pain, but I'd have had to miss the dance."

    And Cupcake, I addressed that in my blog.

  10. Dear Sharon,

    Thank you for your courage and your deep kindness. It happens that I agree with all you've said here, but more importantly, I am in awe of your ability to show compassion in a situation that is terrifying and sad beyond words. I hope so very much that this week brings you clues about Michaela's disappearance, and more than anything I hope that your beautiful daughter can return safely to you and live without fear.


  11. Dear Sharon, I just want to say how much your spirit has ministered to me in the past few days. God is using you in a mighty way through your pain and I just want to say thank-you for allowing Him to work through you in this way. I live in Hayward and always think about Michaela every time I drive by the market. I am hoping and praying that you find Michaela. You have a servants heart and to give Nany Garrido even the benefit of the doubt shows Gods great love and the compassion of your spirit.

  12. I too thought that Nancy had to be a victim. Just one look at that house shows how depressed and overwhelmed she must have been. No one has mentioned if hse worked outside the home or not. Did she? Just as the old saying goes.. keep your friends close and your enemies closer... You are a strong and brave woman.. and to the woman who hasn't had children out of fear of losing them.. You don't know what you are missing.. I would suggest you get on board and find out quickly... Cheryl

  13. I agree with Dorsi, Sharon is remarkable and you can see God's grace in her spirit. Who knows what Nancy was thinking when she married Garrido but I am sure that she was terrorized by him daily. Who knows he may have made her live outside in the tents. She needs to speak up so everyone can know if there are loved ones who were affected by their hands. I hope that the detectives are trying to get her to talk because she could open alot of doors to alot of people...

  14. We can never know what is going on in another person's head....perhaps Nancy is a very sadistic [or mentally ill] individual. Maybe she was controlled by a domineering 'man' who is clearly unstable. I commend you for not passing judgment, however, I don't think you were wrong to answer that question as you did.

    Our faiths are different-- I'm a Unitarian Universalist-- but I cannot express in words how moved I am by your faith. You are an inspiration.

  15. Cupcake, you may have added a psuedonym, but you are still basically anonymous since it is not attached to any blog, webpage or e-mail. I believe I stated clearly in my original blog post that women should not get involved with bad boys whether they are incarcerated or not. If you want a reply to off-topic posts, please include your e-mail address.

  16. Probably Nancy Garrido was succubus of Philipp Garrido, probably Philipp Garrido was succubus of the parents when was young, we don't know. But for each criminal there is ever a reason. The only sure thing is that they have committed the worst things, and for these they must pay.
    P.S.: Excuse me for my not perfect english, i'm italian.

  17. I agree with Bruno. Sharon, I too posted anonymously before. I would just like to say that I do not agree with Nancy being a victim, maybe to some degree she was, but I do not believe that excuses her part in this crime. Most predators or pedophiles were victims themselves as children of some sort of abuse but they still must pay for their crimes. That said, I have great respect for you and wish you only the best in your search for answers as to what happened to your daughter. I pray for you often and will continue to do so.

  18. Sarah, what you are talking about is completely different from what I said. There is a wide world of difference between becoming a predator as a result of having been abused in your past, and engaging in predatory behavior because someone is actively terrorizing you and threatening to kill you if you don't. It's the difference between someone stealing because she grew up in poverty and therefore can never have enough, or someone stealing because a man has a gun to her head and is threatening to kill her if she doesn't.

    It is not AT ALL the same thing.

    Nor is this anything like a Nuremberg defense, by the way, which is the "I was just following orders" defense. Nothing at all like it.

    I think you all should thank the Lord that you have no idea what it is like to be the victim of a man like Philip Garrido.

  19. Don't let people tell you what to put in your post. I think that it is a wonderful tribute to your daughter. I will pray that you find her, and all the girls missing in Northern California. I hope this man isn't the one who took her but if he is I pray you find an ending. It may not be the best ending but some kind of closure is needed.

    I so agree that I think that woman is someone who was brain washed. Philip Garrido is just pure evil. To say he is sick is beyond being nice. He is an awful person. I think, although his wife went along with it, she is another victim. I can only imagine Jail will be a better life for her than living with that man.

    I hope the peace of the Lord is with you during the next few months. My daughter died 2 years ago and I always tell people I am the lucky mom who knows where my child is. God Bless and keep posting

  20. The greatest love is to give up your life for another. I would absolutely die before I would have allowed any of this to continue. God may know Nancys heart and have mercy on her but I never could. I am incapable of that level of forgiveness. God bless you Sharon. He holds you and yours in the palm of his hand.

  21. All I can say is wow lots of back n forth regarding judgement for Nancy and I'd like to share this about me for what it's worth. At a very early age I was abused by elders, uncles and their male friends, by the time I was 7 the domestic thread of an abuse acceptance pattern had already began. I was married off at an early age thus handed over to one more abuser and birthed 4 children I refer to as 'war victims' because I was brain washed into thinking domestic violence was acceptable and actually in my day there were no domestic laws provided, I'm almost 50. My point being, it wasn't until my children were grown that a female employer stepped up, loved me enough to send me to therapy because my body couldn't take much more of the abuse. Through therapy I got rid of the last abuser in my life and I reinterate the last abuser in my life... I've been single and domestic violence free for 6+ years which isn't much time considering I spent most of my life 'thinking' what ever my abusers said or did to me was acceptable and REALITY, the early molding years that made me a victim throughout my life, I just didn't know the difference all I knew was it was ok to abuse me for any or all reasons (no self esteem) zero! Who knows Nancy's heart or what she's gone through and I agree with Sharon, judge not lest you be judged. I pray that the circle of abuse acceptance be washed from Nancy's heart and soul in that she will break free and be able to feel safe' enough to tell the authorities EVERYTHING she knows about the man she unfortunately married. Sharon again you are a testimony of God's love and I've become Michaela and your biggest fan! Blessings xo

  22. Diane, I'm glad you were able to break free yourself! God bless you!


  23. I have been preoccupied about Jaycee Dugard, and Michaela's abduction, I think relating to a near abduction, myself, when I was about 10-11 years old. The discussion about Nancy Garrido attracts me, again- related to a severely abusive relationship as a young woman. Michaela's mom, you have deep, moving insights, and a level of grace, patience, and understanding that brings great honor to Michaela. Thank you for all your honesty and wisdom, as I read your precious words of wisdom. You make the world a better place by all that you do. Your testimony of love is astounding. I pray for a glorious reunion with your 'light', Michaela.

  24. If Nancy has any hope of seeing the light of day now is the time for her to tell all.

  25. Dearest Sharon, your compassion for Nancy Garrido is formidable. I admire your facility for empathy, and you sure have given me something to think about regarding Mrs. Garrido.

    I have no doubts Nancy is mentally ill, obviously her husband is mentally ill. But so is a rather large portion of our population who have never abducted, raped or killed anyone. Being terrorized, being ill, is one thing. Choosing to participate in the violation of another person's body and soul is quite another.

    However, because of you and your ability to find compassion for her, I will try too. I can't make any promises, but I will keep your kindness in mind to remind me compassion is a viable choice even under the most horrific circumstances.

    Bless You Sharon,
    and Thank You.

  26. i think that nancy was most likely forced to do whatever her husband told her to ! he looks and obviously is pure evil! i think she was most likely trapped in an abusive relationship and hopefully in time will tell everything she knows..just my opinion..

  27. Has anyone subpoened Phillip Garrido's first wife, Christine Garrido? She knew he was committing violent crimes. She fled the state after Jaycee was found. She has remarried.

  28. Hi Anonymous. This is a very old entry you are reading, but at this point the Garridos have been thoroughly investigated, interviewed and polygraphed, and they have been eliminated as suspects in Michaela's case. But that's okay, because we still have other really good suspects that we are investigating.